ESSER II-The Largest Appropriation of Federal Funding to Public Schools in History

January 29, 2021 By Carrie L. O Brien In Legal Alerts

January 29, 2021 – On December 27, 2020, the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-260). The Act makes available to public schools four times the funding available under the CARES Act, making it the largest appropriation of federal funding to public schools in history.

This new funding is referred to by the federal government and Arizona Department of Education as ESSER II. The Arizona Department of Education (“ADE”) estimates that ESSER II Allocations for Title I districts will be three times the District’s current Title I award.

In addition:

  • The federal government extended ESSER I funding to eligible expenses through September 30, 2022.
  • Like ESSER I funding, the additional funds are highly flexible and may be used for eligible expenses tied to the school district’s COVID recovery plan.
  • Eligible expenses include those incurred between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2023. 
  • ESSER II funding does not require equitable services to be provided to private schools.

ADE recommends that school districts thoughtfully expend ESSER funds in a sustainable manner and does not create a funding gap after September 30, 2023. ESSER funds may be used for the following non-exhaustive manner: food service, after school program funding, emergency leave, school facilities repair/improvement including air quality, capital expenses, and employee retention.

ESSER II applications will be available from ADE in February.

For more information or questions, please contact any of our education law attorneys listed below.

Robert D. Haws

Jennifer N. MacLennan

Carrie L. O’Brien

Susan P. Segal

Brittany J. Reed

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